Cross-border trade between Kashmir and Pakistan hit

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Poonch (J-K), June 5 (ANI): The weekly cross-border trade between Indian Kashmir and Pakistan- administered Kashmir came to a standstill after the authorities did not let the traders to carry items which did not originate in Jammu and Kashmir.

To check evasion of customs duty during cross Line of Control (LoC) trade, the Central Government in a fresh condition has made it mandatory for traders that goods to be traded by them with Pakistan-administered Kashmir should be grown or manufactured in Jammu and Kashmir.

This new restriction from the Indian government led to suspension of cross LoC trade at Chakkan Da Bagh in Poonch district.

Consequently, the aggrieved traders on this side staged a sit-in protest at the Trade Facilitating Centre.

"Goods worth 15 million rupees are lying here. I think all this will soon perish," said Rajiv Tandon, a trader.

Official sources confirmed that a letter from the Commissioner of Customs at Jalandhar had been received on Monday.

The letter mentioned about the ban on the exports of not only coconut and cardamom to Pakistan-administered Kashmir in the cross LoC trade. It also instructed the concerned officials to allow exports of one those goods, which have their origin in Jammu and Kashmir.

The letter made it mandatory for traders to produce certificate about the origin of the merchandise being traded by them.

"Trade could not take place because the Customs Department has issued a letter according to which coconut and cardamom have been banned and rest of the goods will be allowed to be traded only after a certificate is furnished to prove these products' state origin," said Matloob Khan, an officer, Trade Facilitation Authority, Chakkan Da Bagh, Poonch.

The official sources further said that this order was issued following complaints about the evasion of customs duty on a large scale in the cross LoC trade as many traders were exporting goods grown elsewhere in the country to Pakistan through Poonch-Rawalakote route. (ANI)

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